My Experience with the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

A lot of people have been asking about my recent adventure to Seattle to participate in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.  Through my efforts with Team in Training, and because of very generous donations by my friends and family, I raised $3,723 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!  Wow!

This is my story.

My trip to Seattle was perfect. While I’m not much of a “bucket list” type person, I do recognize a once in a lifetime experience. This was one of them. The idea hatched from a simple, yet somewhat careless New Year’s resolution or “revolution” as my six year old calls them. Standing tall and proud in my kitchen and waiving my glass of champagne around like a royal chalice, I boldly proclaimed that this year I would participate in a half marathon. With dismissive looks by my sweet husband, I was made even more determined. If you know me, you know that you shouldn’t tell me I can’t or won’t do something. Willful defiance has always been a big motivator for me. He firmly denies any such looks. But I know what I saw.

And so the journey began.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has always held a special place in my heart. In 2001 I lost my Uncle Gene to Lymphoma, and that absence left a large and noticeable hole in our family. Since then, this organization has found its way into my life on numerous occasions. I can only take that as a sign.

Training for this event was fun. It was also tiring. It was exhilarating and  it was sometimes very wet. I met some fascinating people along the way. People that were so giving of their time, money and support. People that inspired me to be a better person.

So off I went to the Emerald City with lofty goals and high hopes. The weather was perfect for such an adventure. Clear and crisp. There were about 12,000 participants there, but it never felt that big. When the air horn blared for corral 32 (a little disappointed that it wasn’t a gunshot) we took off down the streets of Seattle. Miles one through three were a breeze and I was pumped! My running mate Heather kept cautioning me to slow down, but you know how that went (see paragraph two).

At mile four, a very unfortunate smelling young man appeared in our pace group. Seinfeld quotes of BBO were thrown about. I mean, it was bad. “Tacos” is probably the best word to describe him. Fortunately there was a majestic view of Mount Rainier to help keep me distracted. But just barely.

Mile seven greeted us with a long stretch of very large American flags. It was so beautiful and the people holding them were cheering and waving. It was a moment that gave you chills and made you glad to be an
American. Still feeling great and enjoying the beautiful lake view, I proudly shuffled along.

Around mile eight I started to get a little nausey. It came out of nowhere. Perhaps it was the energy jelly beans I had just eaten. Or perhaps it was the big piece of cheese I ate for breakfast. We’ll never know for sure. But it was around that time that we began the 1400-foot trek through the Mount Baker Tunnel. I didn’t care much for being trapped in a tunnel with little circulation. Or for the impending feeling that I might vomit at any minute. Fortunately, we lost Taco Boy a ways back, so I was able to avoid an embarrassing scene and hightail it out of there.

Miles 10 and 11 were very quiet for everyone. As I trudged on, my legs got heavier and my feisty disposition faded into serious questions about my mental health for embarking on such a foolish venture. It was then that I really called upon the higher powers. I also used this time to think about everyone that I had lost to cancer.

I fondly remembered Uncle Gene and all the times when I was a teenager that he would school me on the importance of good nutrition:

“You need to eat your green beans, Stacey” he would say, “They’re full of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D…” and on and on he would go. I remembered his disapproving frown when I would order two servings of mashed potatoes in place of the broccoli. And I laughed as I imagined him looking down on me saying “See? You should have eaten your vegetables this morning instead of that big hunk of cheese.”

Once we reached mile 12, my spirits and my pace picked up again. Great music surrounded me and crowds of cheering fans grew bigger and louder. When the finish line appeared over the last hill, the enormity of my accomplishment hit me. I did it. I made it to the finish line. Six months of determination and hard work paid off. As tears fell down my face, Heather grabbed my hand, as if she could hear my thoughts. We crossed the finish line, hand in hand, both accomplishing more than we ever thought we could.

They gave us our medal and promptly herded us up (another) hill and out of the way. I guess to make room for the five remaining participants that were left on the course. We were greeted with water, fruit cups, slices of bread, and um, chocolate milk?

Nothing sounded grosser at that particular moment in time than chocolate milk. But as I approached a cute young girl thrusting a bottle of milk into the air, I heard her say “Get your chocolate milk here! Full of vitamin C, Vitamin D, Folic Acid, everything you need!”

So I drank the chocolate milk.

 

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Panache Event Group Wins two Texas Star Awards!

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At a fun filled, Gatsby themed celebration last month, Panache Event Group brought home two Texas Star Awards!  The first award was for Best Marketing / Design Collateral Under $25k.  The second award was for Best Corporate Event Under $75k.

Both awards were for the same event at Don Strange Ranch last fall (see blog below about Texas Prettiness at the ranch).

The Texas Star Awards recognizes the best event professionals in Texas, and we are honored to receive not one, but two of them this year.  Entries were judged by esteemed ISES professionals from the ISES Atlanta Chapter and the winners were announced at The Texas Star Awards gala held at The St. Anthony Hotel on February 9.

We are blessed to have such amazing clients who allow us to go wild with our ideas, and beyond honored that our hard work and creativity was recognized.   txstarawards-112

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Texas Prettiness at Don Strange Ranch {San Antonio Event Planner}

Sometimes the perfect client just falls in our lap.  Ready to book, knows what he wants and is funny and charming to boot.  That was this client.  Each year this particular Mississippi corporation treats some of its best customers to an amazing dinner during a national convention.  This year the convention was in San Antonio and it was time to show what Texas was all about.

Our goal was to wine and dine the guests and give them an evening that would knock their socks off.  Many venues were toured and Don Strange Ranch ultimately fit the bill.  Everything revolved around Texas, from the Texas hero table names to the indigenous flowers, to the Hill Country wines.  It was a Texas extravaganza!  Hand picked Texas country artists played in the background as guests dined on Texas Angus beef and Redfish.  And to balance the scales, Mississippi native Skylar Laine performed.  Everything was captured beautifully by Daniel Holman Photography.

Menus, table signs and dessert signs were all created by hand by Panache Event Group, as well as the design and layout.  Many thanks to the following vendors who supported us!

Don Strange Ranch

Goen South

Luxe Event Decor

Aztec Events and Tents

Bobalou Cigar Co.

Daniel Holman Photography

Enjoy the eye candy!_AN_2162-Edit _AN_2141 _AN_2104 _AN_2122 _AN_1976 _AN_1968 _AN_1965 _AN_1964 _AN_1953 _AN_1938 _AN_1933 _AN_1934 _AN_1919-Edit _AN_1744 _AN_1695 _AN_1610 _AN_1600 _AN_1554 _AN_1575 _AN_1607 _AN_1395 _AN_1392 _AN_1465

 

 

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Mr. and Mrs. Champagne Flutes. Yours For The Taking {San Antonio Wedding Planner}

Like our new Mr. and Mrs. champagne flutes?  Want to own a pair of your own?  Simply book a planning package with us and receive them.  Free!

Easy peazy lemon squeezy!

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How cute would these look at your reception table?

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My Weightloss Journey With Garcinia Cambogia Extract {San Antonio Wedding Planner}

I’m doing a little experiment folks!  It first started with a mild curiosity with the compound Garcinia Cambogia.  I’ve been reading some encouraging things.  I got mildly excited.  I hopped on to Amazon.com to check it out, and whoops!  I accidentally hit the check out button.  So with a bottle unintentionally on its way, I thought I would turn this into my own experiment while keeping all of you updated on my progress.  What bride doesn’t want to lose a couple of pounds for her big day?  I will be your guinea pig!

The extract is from a goofy pumpkin looking plant grown in India.  It’s supposed to suppress your appetite, block fat and increase serotonin.  I’m still a little skeptical, but deep down I’m kinda excited.  I have about 12 stubborn pounds to lose before an industry conference in the Bahamas at the end of the month.  (Yeah, I have a tough job.) I would love to be “bikini ready” as they say.

So stay tuned!  I should receive it within the week, and I will keep you up to date on my journey.  Will it work?  We shall see…

Day 1

I received my bottle yesterday.  Hurrah!  The problem I think I’m going to have is remembering to take these things.  You are supposed to take one or two pills 30 minutes before each meal.  I can see forgetting to take them, but I’ll do my best.  I took one last night and two today.  Don’t feel much of a difference, except a little more gassy.  Hopefully it will pass.  At least my husband hopes so anyway…

Day 7

It’s been a full week on this stuff and I have experienced nothing.  Nada.  Zip.   No weight loss.  No increased energy.  No better sleep at night.  I thought I had lost a pound earlier in the week, but it came back.  The directions say take one to two capsules 30 minutes before each meal.  (Let me take this time to say the bottle lies.  It says it’s a 30 day supply but it’s really only 10 day on this regimen.  That makes it way more expensive than previously thought.)  I’ve been taking one capsule before every meal so this week I’m upping it to two.  We’ll see what happens…garcinia

 

Day 17

This stuff kinda sucks.  I’ve almost finished the bottle and I’ve actually gained an inch.  There are a couple of glaring problems with this product:

1.  It is almost impossible to take two capsules, three times a day, precisely 30 minutes before a meal.  While planning is my profession, this pill popping routine was impossible to master.

2.  Said pills are about the size of a horse antibiotic, and routinely got stuck in my throat, requiring immediate consumption of bread and warm milk to dislodge.

3.  Quick fixes still don’t work.  Bummer, I know.

So it’s back to the old standby, reconnecting with my Brooks and hitting the pavement, while “treating” my sinuses with Sudafed (the old fashioned stuff behind the counter.  Quite possibly the best appetite curbing thing on the market.)

Pre-final prognosis: Craptastic.  Save your money and buy a cute handbag instead.  I’ll probably keep taking it until they are all gone, but I’m not expecting any miracles at this point.  I’ll keep you updated.

 

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McNay Romance {San Antonio Wedding Planner}

Well it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged.  Half the year has gone by! Where did it go?  I’ve got loads of pictures so I’ll start with this beauty.  They were so sweet.  Their entire family was a such joy to work with.   Thank you to all the amazing vendors who made this wedding such a success!

Church- Our Lady of Grace Church

Venue- McNay Art Museum

Caterer-True Flavors Catering

Photography- Jeff Loftin Photography

Videography

Florals- Trinity Flowers

Linens and chairs- Luxe Event Decor

Tables-Aztec Events and Tents

Wedding Planning- Panache Event Group

Menu cards, table and chair signs- Panache Event Group

Entertainment- Blind Date

Photos courtesy of the fabulous Jeff Loftin!

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Panache Event Group Wins Texas Star Award

Photo Courtesy of ISES Dallas

Panache Event Group headed to Dallas last month where we won a Texas Star Award for “Best Corporate Event under $75k.”  It was an honor to receive this award and it wouldn’t be possible without our amazing clients!

The theme for the evening was 80′s prom, in case you were wondering about the hair and wardrobe.  It was a fantastic evening and receiving this award among our ISES colleagues was an amazing experience!

 

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How to create an Award Winning Christmas Tablescape on a Budget

Photo courtesy of Professional Images Photography

Last night I was honored to receive an award at the ISES San Antonio Holiday Tablescape Competition.  Ten tables competed and two awards were given- Best Design over $250 and Best Design under $250.  Let me tell you, it’s much harder to create a show stopping tablescape with a small budget.  You need creativity and a flair for the hot glue gun.  So here my tips to make your holiday table warm, cozy and festive without breaking the bank.

1) Think differently about the table cloths-  You don’t have to use a standard table cloth purchased at a department store.  Blanket and throws can add a personal touch and give your table more texture.

3) Play with Burlap- I love burlap.  It’s so fun and so cheap!  Stencil your favorite Christmas verses along the border to create a special overlay that speaks to you.

2) Look outside your home- Tree trimmings, clippings and herbs make great fillers.  I used rosemary clippings re-potted in silver julep cups that doubled as favors and place holders.  Many Christmas tree lots will allow you to haul off tree branch clippings.  These clippings make great wreaths.  Have a holly bush?  Snip those cute red berries and glue them onto a candle stick.  Add some twine or jute and you have an adorable holiday piece.

3) Napkin rings for pennies- Snip the bottoms off of those pine cones and glue onto cute ribbon.  Tie around a napkin for a unique conversation piece.

3) Menu cards can allow you to really add color to your table.  Mix and match different card stocks found at your local craft store.  Cut and glue together, add a bow and there you have a place setting with personality.

4) Melt your favorite chocolate in a pan, then dip the ends of candy canes for a sweet alternative to a coffee spoon.  Works deliciously with hot chocolate too!

5) Don’t forget the Christmas Crackers!  An old English tradition has been gaining footing here in the US for a while.  They are such fun to pop and see what is inside.  And the kids love them.

Merry Christmas and happy decorating!

Photo Courtesy of Dan Holman Photography

Photo Courtesy of Dan Holman Photography

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As Seen in San Antonio Weddings Magazine! Green Love on St. Patty’s Day {San Antonio Wedding Planner}

Love, love, LOVE this wedding!  It was so fresh and sweet, just like the couple.  The Spire really is a hidden gem located just next to downtown San Antonio.  Operated by The RK Group, it provides a unique wedding setting with amazing food that Rosemary’s Catering legendary for.  Enjoy the green eye candy! For more photos, please visit the gallery titled “St. Patty’s Day Wedding.”

Thank you to the amazing vendors who helped make this day a huge success!

 

Venue: The Spire

Catering: Rosemary’s Catering

Floral: Flair Floral

Wedding Consultant: Panache Event Group

DJ: Robert Lindsey Music

Cake: Exclusive Cake Shop

Officiant: David Orth

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Fiesta Wedding Love at The Witte

More Fiesta for you!  This wedding was amazing!  Bright florals and colors, amazing food and fabulous entertainment for the guests.  Mariachi’s appeared just as the bride and groom were pronounced husband and wife, and led the guests into cocktail hour where they enjoyed cocktails before dinner and dancing to the hot sounds of Finding Friday.  Lot’s of DIY action going on, including luminary cans painted in vibrant colors, and homemade salsa for the favors.  YUM!

A very special thank you to all the AMAZING vendors who brought this wedding to life!

The Witte Museum

True Flavors Catering

Whitney Runyon Photography

Ambiance Floral

Great Event Rentals

Betty Jane’s Bakeshoppe

Finding Friday

Mariachi Herencia

 

For more photo awesomeness, visit Whitney Runyon’s blog

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